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Sarasota Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009 11 years ago

Locals start downtown initiative

by: Loren Mayo Black Tie Editor

Matt Orr and Rich Swier’s goal is simple: to remind locals of the small wonders that brought them here to live in Sarasota; to get people to shop, dine and play downtown every day; and to leverage the strengths of every merchant by bringing the community together to make the upcoming season the best yet.

Since Orr and Swier started their I LOVE DOWNTOWN Sarasota initiative Aug. 20, more than 2,025 people have joined its Facebook site. The social-networking page encourages fans to post photographs and comments on why they love Sarasota.

One resident posted the following on I LOVE DOWNTOWN Sarasota’s Facebook page: “The Sarasota Opera, the theaters, the restaurants, the art galleries, the consignment shops, the boutiques, the music, the food/restaurants, the small town feel with big city amenities, the harbor, the mishmash of people from all over the world. I’d say Sarasota belongs to the world!”

And another posted this: “ … I love the youthful energy in the art scene, the musicians and other artists that work so hard to keep downtown alive, the merchants who are committed to doing whatever it takes and the Ringling Bridge, the best place to walk and enjoy the view.”

Throughout the next few months, the I LOVE DOWNTOWN Sarasota team plans to launch new ideas, such as I LOVE DOWNTOWN Sarasota T-shirts, in order to gain social media attention and networking in hopes of drawing people downtown. One example of a T-shirt slogan: Be Fruitville and Multiply.

Contact Loren Mayo at [email protected].


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